Inch - mobile workforce management solution

Link:tryinch.comChallenge:

Design an MVP mobile workforce management solution for SMBs

My role:

I was the only designer in the project, responsible for every aspect of the product design

Outcome:

Inch attracted interested customers even before the launch. Currently the project is in growth stage.

What is Inch?

Inch is task management, time tracking, and communication software available on the web and as iOS and Android apps. It is designed for SMBs needs and is friendly to the low-tech users that prevail in the mobile deskless industries. Inch helps businesses to move from phone calls, emails, and spreadsheets to a more meaningful and efficient way to plan and analyze the work and keep employees accountable.

Following is the product vision concept, that was set at the beginning of the project. The MVP solution presented at the end of the article is different.

The process

I have joined Inch at the moment when the team has identified the potential opportunity for a mobile workforce management solution. Our first challenge was to visualize and communicate the idea. After that, we conducted extensive research to identify the product-market fit and understand better the context of use. Then we have identified and tested the MVP that was launched in November 2021.

design process

Research

User research

  • Semi-structured interviews were chosen as the main user research method because it`s a cheap and fast way to get the information. Managers and mobile workers from 6 different countries and various industries were interviewed.
  • Digital ethnography was conducted by gathering and analyzing competitor's user reviews in order to identify related pain points.
  • Surveys of parent product users.
  • Analysis of the feedback received from parent product users through Intercom and emails.
  • The insights were synthesized into empathy maps, personas, job stories, and journey maps.
  • screenshot from the research document
user research deliverables

Market research

  • 2 areas were researched: industry-specific mobile workforce management solutions and industry-agnostic task management solutions for the desk workers. First area was analyzed in order to understand the offers and close competitors, the second area was analyzed in order to aim for the level of experience desk solutions offer.
  • Following issues were analyzed and compared: value proposition, target audience, pricing, use cases, main features and user reviews.
market research deliverables

Research summary

Manager's problems:

  • Constant switches and time-off requests
  • Payroll and invoicing is time consuming and error prompt
  • Lack of the employees' accountability
  • Communication is spread across channels
  • Difficult to optimize the route

Employees life is not any easier. While the employee turnover in deskless professions is high, the job satisfaction tends to be low.

employees problems

Design

  • At the beginning of the project I conducted a design workshop with the team in order to identify the product vision.
  • Low and high fidelity information architecture was developed based on the product specification
information architecture
  • After the project evaluation, some details were cut in order to get the MVP faster
  • Low and high fidelity prototypes were iteratively developed and tested
  • I developed a design system from the begging. It saved a lot of time in the long term because it was faster to reiterate with reusable elements in hands.
  • User flows were prepared for multi-conditional interaction. Linear flows were covered with the interactive prototypes
  • Handoff specification were delivered to the developers with a comprehensive explanation of the behavior
design system

Customer feedback and usability testing

2 types of usability testing were conducted: unmoderated remote testing using usertesting.com and moderate in person testing. Moderated testing helped us to understand the user's mental model that facilitated fundamental change in the product. While unmoderated remote testing was a fast and easy way to spot smaller usability issues.

Unmoderated remote testing

  • Identifies usability issues
  • Easy to recruit participants
  • Fast

Moderated testing

  • Helps to understand users' mental model
  • Helps to understand how do people approach the problem
  • More control on participants recruiting
  • Identifies usability issues

For example, moderated usability testing helped us shift the priorities in MVP. Our assumption was that users would primarily use maps to plan the schedule logistically. It turned out that knowing what qualified employee is available is much more important and timeline view suits better.

Following is the example how one screen in the app has changed after 3d iteration.

design system

Solution

Tasks are the main feature of Inch. Employees receive their working tasks in different locations. They can check the details and discuss the task in the comments. After the task is done they should either mark it as completed or clock out. In the second case, Inch can verify if the clock out is done in the appropriate location. As a requirement of work completion managers can ask for photos.

Maps support route optimization use case. It can help to save resources and keep employees more satisfied with the tasks near their living area.

Timeline provides a visual representation of the worker's schedule.

application screen

If time clock is activated, assignees can clock in and out of task making the completion time accountable. It is also possible to switch on geolocation requirements to ensure the time clock is done on the site and avoid time theft. On task completion, employees can attach photos and notes to the task for the quality control or issue report. If time clock deactivated the reports are done through the task completion functionality.

application screen

Messages support internal communication so companies can avoid other non-related communication channels that provoke distraction, such as private messengers or social media groups.

application screen

Time clock is needed for the employee payroll, client invoicing, and performance analysis. It shows the time, spent on each task and the wage that is to be paid to the employees for each task. Grouping support various use cases: grouping by employee allows to create and print payroll, grouping by location helps to prepare invoices, grouping by date support the analysis process. The system highlights the difference between the scheduled and actual time to help to identify critical issues and control overtime as this is where the businesses lose money.

application screen

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